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{short description of image} Photos from the Daggers Lunch


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Sarah Waters has won the Crime Writers' Association Ellis Peters Dagger for best historical crime novel for her book Fingersmith, published by Virago. The announcement was made at a reception at the Crime in Store bookshop in Store

Street, London, on Wednesday 30 October. The book was also short-listed for the Man Booker Award. The Ellis Peters judges described it as a dark and subtle novel. It is set in Victorian England and, the judges say, creates a stunning atmosphere of wickedness and fear. "Scene after scene brilliantly brings to life the period and the characters involved in a cunning scheme to defraud an heiress."

The prize is £3,000 and an ornamental dagger. The award is sponsored by publishers Headline and Little Brown and the estate of Ellis Peters. The dagger will be presented at the CWA The Macallan Awards Lunch in London on 7 November.

Chairman of the judges, Susanna Yager, said: "Fingersmith announced itself as the winner as soon as we read it. It is an outstanding book in any category."

Sarah Waters said, "It is wonderful to have won. My passion for historical fiction was what got me writing in the first place."

Click here for more party pictures

The Nominees left to right:
Martin Stephen, Lindsey Davis, Philip Gooden, Sara Waters and Gillian Linscott

The other shortlisted novels were:

The Jupiter Myth


Lindsey Davis

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A colourful depiction of Britain under Roman rule is the setting for an absorbing detective story with a lively cast of characters and plenty of narrative drive. The historical details have an authentic feel and the personalities are cleverly shown to be both very different from us and yet very alike.

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The Pale Companion


Philip Gooden

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This Elizabethan murder mystery has a nicely underplayed actor as detective and some intriguing interplay between the members of his theatrical company.

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Dead Man Riding


Gillian Linscott

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The characters are particularly well drawn in this deftly constructed murder mystery set in 1900, which vividly creates the feeling of hope and excitement at the start of a new century.

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The Athenian Murders


Jose Carlos Samoza

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This was one of the most original entries for the award, an entertaining puzzle with two parallel narratives. It has a memorable hero and a very clever plot, which successfully combines a powerful intellectual argument with some witty dialogue.

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The Desperate Remedy

(Little Brown)

Martin Stephen

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This 17th century thriller is a rattling good yarn, with a dashing hero, backed up by impressively solid research and an excellent grasp of the politics of the period.

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The Crime Writers' Association awards lunch in London, sponsored by The Macallan, results of this year's awards for the best in crime writing. Winners were announced on Thursday 7 November 2002
WINNER OF CWA THE MACALLAN GOLD DAGGER FOR FICTION: JOSE CARLOS SOMOZA for THE ATHENIAN MURDERS (Abacus) The judges commented: Complex, intellectually intriguing Ancient Greek crime. athen{short description of image} {short description of image}
Winner of the Silver Dagger: JAMES CRUMLEY for THE FINAL COUNTRY (Harper Collins.) {short description of image}{short description of image}
Titles on the short list were: {short description of image}{short description of image}{short description of image}{short description of image}{short description of image}{short description of image}{short description of image}{short description of image}

LILLIAN PIZZICHINI for DEAD MAN'S WAGES (Picador) Judges' comments: As a first book, this promises well for her future career. A clever reconstruction of the life of her grandfather, Charlie Taylor, a conman who used the postwar building boom and the proliferation of illegal gaming clubs to penetrate High(er) society, as well as the flying squad.
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THE IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER This is a new award introduced this year for best thriller, suggested and sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd. There were seven writers on the short list, reflecting Ian Fleming's creation 007.
JOHN CREED for THE SIRIUS CROSSING (Faber) Judges' comments: A literate and highly accessible thriller. You are hooked from the introduction.
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THE CWA THE MACALLAN SHORT STORY DAGGER STELLA DUFFY for Martha Grace (Tart Noir Anthology Pan Macmillan) Judges' comments: Lingers in the memory after other stories have been forgotten. {short description of image}{short description of image} {short description of image}
The CWA Creasey Dagger sponsored by Chivers Press, which goes to the best first novel and was won by LOUISE WELSH for THE CUTTING ROOM (Canongate.) {short description of image}{short description of image}
THE CWA DAGGER IN THE LIBRARY (This award, sponsored by the Random House Group, goes to the author whose work has given most pleasure to readers. It is judged by librarians. The Winner of the Dagger in the Library is PETER ROBINSON (published by Macmillan) Judges' comments: The InspectorBanks novels are becoming grittier, darker and ever more popular. The hero is a maverick in the traditional style.
The Debut Dagger for a so-far unpublished crime writer, was awarded to Ilona van Mil for Sugarmilk Falls.

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